Air China Launches B747-8 Operations

Air China has launched operations for its new Boeing 747-8I jet, becoming the first Asian operator of the type after taking delivery of the new jet from manufacturer Boeing at the beginning of the month. Flight CA 1315 took off from Beijing Capital International Airport at 1141 hrs bound for the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, as the airline shows off its newest fleet addition to domestic customers in a highly competitive market against rivals China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines.


Configured in a 4-class layout offering 365 seats, the Star Alliance member’s B747-8I features an all-new interior created by JPA Design in collaboration with Chinese artist Han Meilin. Reflecting Air China’s cultural heritage, 2 artworks (dubbed “Phoenix In Flight” and “Cloud”) along with earthen tile patterns are referenced throughout the aircraft, working together with the Dreamliner-inspired cabin to create a greater feeling of space and comfort.


First Class comprises 3 rows of private suites in set 1-2-1 abreast in a cabin just ahead of the wings and behind Business Class, which occupies the nose of the main deck and the entire upper deck, with the 54 flatbed seats are arranged in a staggered 2-2 configuration (except for a mini-cabin arranged 2-2-2). The Premium Economy cabin sees 66 seats in a 3-4-3 layout, while Economy Class further back has 233 seats in the same 10-abreast configuration, but with a 33-inch seat pitch as opposed to the former’s 38 inches. All seats are equipped with a personal screen, connectivity options for passengers’ devices and onboard Wi-Fi.


Air China’s B747-8I will make its international debut in January 2015, when the airline will deploy the jet daily on the Beijing – Frankfurt route operating flights CA 931/932. The carrier has ordered 7 units of the jet, which will serve as its flagship and is part of fleet renewal plans together with the B777-300ER and B787 Dreamliner.


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